Eric given town centres role on Kirklees Council's cabinet

A councillor who has spearheaded Dewsbury’s regeneration drive has been appointed to Kirklees Council’s ruling cabinet.

Sunday, 6th June 2021, 12:00 pm
Coun Eric Firth, pictured at last month's election count

Dewsbury East Labour councillor Eric Firth has been given the town centres and sustainable transport portfolio on the 10-strong cabinet.

Coun Firth has been a strong voice promoting the Dewsbury Blueprint regeneration scheme which is currently underway.

But his new role will cover the district’s smaller town centres too – including Batley, Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton.

And Coun Firth has pledged to work with councillors from across the political spectrum for the betterment of Kirklees.

“We have a lot of town centres – big ones and small ones – and it’s not all about Huddersfield and Dewsbury, though Dewsbury is very much where my heart is and I want to see it thrive and succeed,” he said.

“We are not going to impose what we think on people.

“I want to work with anyone and everyone to make our town centres better places.”

Sustainable transport is the other part of Coun Firth’s portfolio.

He is particularly interested in public transport.

He plans to work closely with the new Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin and the leader of Bradford Council, Coun Susan Hinchcliffe.

Coun Hinchcliffe has been given the transport portfolio on West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

One of Ms Brabin’s first promises after her election was to bring buses back under public control and cut fares.

“There are lots of things happening and I hope to help steer it with West Yorkshire and Tracy,” said Coun Firth.

“Buses and trains are still running virtually empty and it will be a sign that the economy is picking up when people start using public transport again.

“It’s all about confidence coming back.

“When that will be, I don’t know.”